Zubiri says benefits of MIF won’t be felt immediately: ‘It will take time’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said Filipinos may not immediately feel the benefits of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
“It will take time. Ang projects ay itinatayo ‘yan, for several years. It will take time. I think sound [naman] ang proposal ng ating economic team. Maybe we will learn more during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of the President,” the senator said in a press conference that followed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signing into law of the controversial MIF bill on Tuesday.
Zubiri was asked whether the priority measure would immediately benefit the Philippines.
“Possible na next administration [ang makinabang] (The next administration may benefit), unless it’s other projects na mababa ang (have short) shelf life or construction time. But definitely, [the] next administration will be benefiting from the MIF. Ang tingin ng Presidente dito ay long term. [It’s] for the next generation,” he added.
Zubiri nevertheless stressed that the MIF will help spur “increased economic activity.”
“Ang direksyon ng MIF ay ilagay ang pondo na ‘yan, for example, [para] palaguin ang agriculture sector. Ang MIF can be utilized to invest in agriculture industrialization, or building feed mills, building of rice mills. Kung saan ang ating farmers ay ‘di na kailangan pumunta pa sa traders na kung saan pinagsamantalahan sila,” he said.
(The direction of the MIF is to put that fund, for example, to help improve the agriculture sector. The MIF can be utilized to invest in agriculture industrialization or building feed mills and building rice mills. Where our farmers no longer need to go to traders where they are exploited.)
Zubiri likewise pointed out that through MIF, the country may also invest in major infrastructure projects that could give Filipinos jobs.
According to the Senate leader, the “beauty of MIF” is that it will not disturb the “fiscal stability of the country” and will not add to the growing loans of the Philippines.
Zubiri said that under the measure, the MIF would solely fund projects, more jobs, and create economic growth “without a single loan” by the Philippines from any financial institution.